I tell you to be just ordinary, because to try the extraordinary is a very ordinary thing – everybody wants that. And just to be ordinary, accept it, is very extraordinary because nobody wants it. I would like you to be just ordinary, so much so that nobody recognizes you as somebody in particular, so much so that you can be lost in the crowd. You will have a total freedom of being; otherwise you have to continuously hold yourself up. Then you are continuously on display – and that becomes a tension, that creates seriousness, that becomes a heavy burden.
There is no need to be continuously in the show window. You can relax, you can laugh.
I allow you everything that is human. All that is human is yours. Laugh like human beings. Cry, weep, like human beings. Be ordinary.
If you remain ordinary the ego will not arise. The ego arises with the idea of the extraordinary – so whatsoever people are doing, you are not meant to do it. If they walk on their feet, you are meant to stand on your head. Then they will come and worship you; they will say, “You are so extraordinary.” But you are simply being foolish. Don’t be bothered with their praise, because once you become addicted to their praise, you will he caught – then you will remain standing on your head for your whole life. You will lose all beauty of movement, and of course you cannot dance on your head. Have you ever seen any yogi? At the most you can just stand dead, doing shirshasan, the headstand.
When I say “bad company” I mean you have learned ego tricks from people who are deep in their egos. Avoid and escape from anybody who is on any ego trip because the possibility is he will give you some infection or other.
And people learn to do things by imitation. I have heard about one:
A very well-travelled utive returned from his trip to Italy and called a friend in New York to meet him for lunch.
“Did you do anything exciting over there, while you were in Italy?” the friend asked.
“Oh, you know the old saying,” the utive, the American, shrugged. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”
“Well, exactly what did you do?” the friend persisted.
“What else?” the businessman replied. “I seduced an American schoolteacher.”
Now to go to Italy from America to seduce an American schoolteacher – but thats what Italians are doing, and “do in Rome as the Romans do.”
When I say “the bad company” I mean that the mind is imitative. Mind is unconsciously imitative. You will start learning tricks, and once you have learned them it will be difficult to them – and more so if those tricks have a great investment.
If people come and appreciate you, if people start respecting your nonlaughing, nonhumorous face and they think that you are very, very controlled, disciplined, and they come and touch your feet; it will be very difficult now for you to your habit of seriousness – because you will be enjoying it. Now you have invested in your disease.
it. Your life has to be lived from the within, not from the without. Don’t be bothered about what people say – empty praise. Just look to what you are! If you are enjoying, delighting in your being, if you have a dancing soul inside – enough! Then if everybody condemns you, accept that. But never compromise with your inner delight, because ultimately that is going to decide who you are. What people say is irrelevant. Who you are is relevant. Always go in and look at what you are doing to yourself.
If you are happy then there is no question. If you feel that you are happy with your seriousness, then too there is no question; then you can be happy that way, then it is your choice. But I have never seen a man who is happy and serious. He will be joyous, he will be celebrating, he will be enjoying and sharing, and he will be laughing.
Laughter is so spiritual, nothing like it. Have you seen? When you laugh deeply, all tensions disappear. Have you watched? When you laugh deeply, suddenly, as if you have come to an open sky, the walls disappear around you. If you can laugh you can always relax.
Osho, Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 8, Ch 6, Q 3